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The North South line (NSL) is a high-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore, operated by SMRT. It runs from Jurong East, located in western Singapore, to Marina South Pier in the Central Area. The line is 45 kilometres (28 mi) long and serves 26 stations,[1][2] 11 of which are underground. It was the first MRT line to be built in Singapore and it began service on 7 November 1987.[3] The line is coloured red on the rail map.

MRT Singapore Destination 4.png MRT Singapore Destination 5.png
North South line
North South Line logo.png
NS9 Woodlands MRT Platform.jpg
Two C151B trains at Woodlands, which is one of the most crowded stations of the line.
Native nameLaluan MRT Utara Selatan
வடக்கு தெற்கு எம்ஆர்டி வழி
TypeRapid transit
SystemMass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
Under construction (Canberra)
TerminiJurong East
Marina South Pier
Stations26 (Operational) (excluding reserved station NS6)
1 (Under construction)
2 (Under planning)
Opened7 November 1987; 31 years ago (1987-11-07)
OwnerLand Transport Authority
Operator(s)SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation)
CharacterElevated (Jurong EastAng Mo Kio)
Subsurface (Bishan)
Underground (Braddell - Marina South Pier)
Ulu Pandan
Rolling stockC151
CR151 (Future)
Line length45 km (28 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC Third rail
Operating speedlimit of 80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map
MRT map NS.svg



The North South line is coloured red in the MRT system map.

As the name implies, the line connects central Singapore to northern and southern parts of the island. It runs mostly on overhead viaducts but goes underground within the Central Area, between Bishan and Marina South Pier. Travelling from one end of the line to the other takes about an hour.[citation needed]


First phase of developmentEdit

Toa Payoh station, the oldest station on the MRT line and the Singapore MRT system

The North South line was the first MRT line in Singapore, with the first section from Yio Chu Kang to Toa Payoh opening on 7 November 1987. Nine more stations from Novena to Outram Park followed on 12 December 1987.[4] The line was extended northward to Yishun on 20 December 1988 and it began independent operations on 4 November 1989, when the extension to Marina Bay was opened.[citation needed]

Second phase of development (Woodlands extension)Edit

Woodlands MRT station

After the branch line opened in 1990, the Woodlands MRT line was envisioned to close the gap between Yishun and Choa Chu Kang.[5] During the initial planning of the line, Sembawang station was only intended as a provisional station, to be built at a later date due to the underdevelopment of Sembawang. Kranji station was not planned. But on the second round of planning, the government decided to build these stations and omit Sungei Kadut station from the plan. Sungei Kadut station will be built later if the town's population justifies the necessity for the station. With the official opening of the Woodlands Extension on 10 February 1996, the branch line became part of the North South line.[5]

Jurong East modification projectEdit

Jurong East MRT station before the project

The Jurong East modification project entailed the construction of a new platform and the addition of a fourth track to Jurong East station to reduce waiting times and crowding at the station during peak hours.[6] The modification project was completed on 27 May 2011.[7] The track and platform was initially opened during morning peak hours only, but since December 2011, they also operate during the evening peak hours.[8]

North South line extensionEdit

A 1-kilometre (0.6 mi), one station extension from Marina Bay to Marina South Pier station was opened on 23 November 2014.For a start, only every 1 in 4 of the southbound trains terminate at Marina South Pier.The other three trains continued to terminate at the former terminus,Marina Bay, likely due to the Low demand of Marina South Pier station.However this restriction was lifted on May 2017 due to the implementation of the new CBTC signalling system.The last time when this restriction was implemented was on the 10th of May 2017, which was a Vesak Day Holiday.[9] This extension serves the Marina South Pier, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore and future developments in Marina Bay Downtown area.[9]

Canberra stationEdit

On 17 January 2013, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that a feasibility studies was being conducted to create a station between Sembawang and Yishun stations.[10] The feasibility studies was completed in 2014 and Canberra station will be built.[11] Shortly later on 1 August 2014, LTA announced that construction will commence in mid-2015 and is expected to be completed in 2019.[12] Construction works for Canberra station commenced on 26 March 2016.[13] This station, which is an Infill station and will have side platforms, will be built along an operational section of the line between Sembawang and Yishun stations. The construction costs S$90 million[14] and is expected to be completed by 2019 to serve upcoming developments near the station. On the 18 to 19 May, train services will be suspended between Woodlands and Yishun for upgrading works and on 20 May, train services will be suspended towards Ang Mo Kio.[15] The station will be opened on 2 November 2019.[16]

Installation of half-height platform screen doorsEdit

The government announced plans to install half-height platform screen doors on the elevated stations in January 2008.[17] The first platform screen doors were installed at Jurong East and Yishun stations in 2009 as trial runs.[18] Subsequently, installation began in May 2011 at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. On 14 March 2012, platform screen doors became operational on all surface stations on the North South line.[19]

Timeline of stations openedEdit

Improvement worksEdit

Timber to concrete sleeper replacement worksEdit

Timber sleepers were replaced when they neared the end of their lifespan of 15 to 25 years. The new replacement sleepers, made out of concrete, have a significantly longer lifespan.[20] Train services on the line were ended earlier to allow more time for the sleeper replacement works. All timber sleepers were replaced by April 2015. After the completion of the replacement works, train services resumed their normal operating hours.[21]

Resignalling worksEdit

A new moving-block signalling system, supplied by Thales, replaced the ageing fixed-block signalling system on the North South line. The upgrading works were completed in phases from 2016. With the upgraded signalling system, trains are now able to run closer to each other.[22] MRT trains were also progressively retrofitted with new equipment on board to be compatible with the new signalling system.

The new system was tested on the evening of 28 March 2017, when train services were paused to facilitate the testing. From 16 April 2017, the new system commenced full-day testing on Sundays for two months. The new C151B rolling stock were first introduced to the line on these testing days.[23] Since 28 May 2017, the new signalling system has been operating full-day on the North South line.[24]

Third-rail replacementEdit

Replacement works on the third rail, which provides electricity to the trains, were completed in August 2017.[25] The new third rail replaced its 30-year-old predecessor, which was used since the opening of the line. The new electrical system is expected to make train services more reliable.[26]


Fence crashEdit

On 3 March 2003, a 23-year-old driver driving his brother's Mercedes E200 lost control of the car along Lentor Avenue, crashing through the fence and landing onto a stretch of track between Yio Chu Kang and Khatib stations. The incident forced a train carrying hundreds of commuters to come to a screeching halt, but not before flattening the front of the car. The accident disrupted train services for more than three hours and cost SMRT between $100,000 and $150,000 in damage and lost revenue.

Damaged railEdit

These two service disruptions on the North South line were both related to damaged rail, and became one of the worst disruption since SMRT's inception in 1987.[27]

On 15 December 2011, services between Bishan and Marina Bay stations were suspended due to damage sustained on 40-metre power rail between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations. Trains along the stretch were stalled and caused a service disruption until 11.40pm on that day.[28][29]

Two days later, a similar fault caused a seven-hour disruption between Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay stations.[30][31] According to SMRT, the disruption was caused by damage to the third rail and the trains' collector shoes. Seven trains were damaged in this incident.[32]

Power tripEdit

On 7 July 2015, the North South line along with the East West line were temporarily disrupted due to massive power trips detected along the line. A cause of the disruption was due to damaged insulators which caused a failure to properly supply power.[33]

New signalling systemEdit

During the first few months of testing of the new signalling system, there had been numerous occasions of major service disruptions, lasting up to three hours.[34][35] In wake of the re-signalling system tests, SMRT has advised commuters to plan for longer traveling time on the line.[36]

Bishan tunnel floodingEdit

On 7 October 2017, a 20-hour long disruption of services started with a flooding in the tunnels between Braddell and Bishan due to faulty drainage system (causing rainwater to flood the tunnels rapidly, and that the disruption started during a torrential downpour), resulting in disruption of train services between Ang Mo Kio and Marina South Pier stations were suspended in both directions for several hours. A trackside fire between Raffles Place and Marina Bay stations further exacerbated the disruption; Train services between Marina South Pier and Newton resumed at about 9.20pm on the same day, followed by Newton and Ang Mo Kio at around 2pm the following day.[37] Although no injuries or casualties were reported, SMRT fired a total of eight employees from the maintenance crew, and incurred a S$2 million fine, following the incident[38].


North South MRT Line
  Pandan Reservoir
 NS1  EW24  JE5 
Jurong East
  Pasir Ris
  Tuas Link  
  Choa Chu Kang  
Bukit Batok
Bukit Gombak
  Boon Lay  
  Choa Chu Kang (loop)
 NS4  JS1  BP1 
Choa Chu Kang
Yew Tee
 NS6  DT 
Sungei Kadut
Woodlands Flyover
Bukit Timah Expressway
 NS9  TE2 
  Sungei Bedok
  Woodlands North  
Lentor Flyover
Seletar Expressway
Yio Chu Kang
 NS16  CR11 
Ang Mo Kio
  Bright Hill
  Aviation Park  
Kallang River
  Dhoby Ghaut  
 NS17  CC15 
Toa Payoh
  Bukit Panjang
 NS21  DT11 
  Woodlands North
 NS22  TE14 
  Sungei Bedok
 NS24  NE6  CC1 
Dhoby Ghaut
  Pasir Ris  
 NS25  EW13 
City Hall
 NS26  EW14 
Raffles Place
  Tuas Link
 NS27  CE2  TE20 
Marina Bay
  Woodlands North
  Sungei Bedok 
Marina South Pier
Station Number Station Name Image Interchange/Notes
 NS1  EW24  JE5  Jurong East   Cross-Platform Interchange with the East West line
Interchange with the Jurong Region line (2027)
 NS2  Bukit Batok  
 NS3  Bukit Gombak  
 NS3A  Brickland Opening in mid-2030s[39][40]
 NS4  JS1  BP1  Choa Chu Kang   Interchange with the Bukit Panjang LRT and the Jurong Region line (2026)
 NS5  Yew Tee    
 NS6  DT  Sungei Kadut Interchange with the Downtown line
Opening by mid-2030s[39][40]
 NS7  Kranji    
 NS8  Marsiling    
 NS9  TE2  Woodlands   Interchange with the Thomson-East Coast line (2019)
 NS10  Admiralty  
 NS11  Sembawang    
 NS12  Canberra   Station added on operational line (under construction, to be opened 2 November 2019[41])
 NS13  Yishun  
 NS14  Khatib    
 NS15  Yio Chu Kang    
 NS16  CR11  Ang Mo Kio   Interchange with the Cross Island line (2029)
 NS17  CC15  Bishan   Interchange with the Circle line
 NS18  Braddell  
 NS19  Toa Payoh    
 NS20  Novena    
 NS21  DT11  Newton   Interchange with the Downtown line
 NS22  TE14  Orchard   Interchange with the Thomson-East Coast line (2021)
 NS23  Somerset  
 NS24  NE6  CC1  Dhoby Ghaut   Interchange with the North East line and the Circle line
 NS25  EW13  City Hall   Cross-Platform Interchange with the East West line
 NS26  EW14  Raffles Place   Cross-Platform Interchange with the East West line
 NS27  CE2  TE20  Marina Bay   Interchange with the Circle line extension and the Thomson-East Coast line (2021)
 NS28  Marina South Pier  

Rolling stockEdit

From Left- 2 Siemens C651 trains and 2 Kawasaki C751B trains at Ulu Pandan Depot

The North South line consists of the following rolling stocks: C151, C651, C751B, C151A, C151B, C151C. They are housed in Bishan Depot, which provides train maintenance, inspection and overhaul facilities,[42] and in Ulu Pandan Depot.[43][44]

Train controlEdit

Half-height platform screen doors in Ang Mo Kio station

The North South line is currently equipped with Thales SelTrac Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system[45] with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 3 (DTO).[46] The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, NetTrac MT Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.[47]

The old signalling system ceased operations on 2 January 2019.[44] It consists of Westinghouse fixed block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 2 (STO). The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Relay interlocking system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set. Train Captains are still present on the cab to monitor security.

All underground stations are installed with full-height platform screen doors supplied by Westinghouse since their opening. Half-height platform screen doors by ST Electronics were installed on all elevated stations by March 2012.[19]


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  2. ^ "North–South Line Extension". LTA. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
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  5. ^ a b Singapore, National Library Board,. "Woodlands MRT line | Infopedia". Retrieved 19 September 2017.
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  15. ^ "Canberra Station | Projects | Public Transport | Land Transport Authority". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Canberra MRT station to open on Nov 2". CNA. 20 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Platform screen doors for all above-ground MRT stations by 2012". The Straits Times. 25 January 2008. Archived from the original on 28 January 2008.
  18. ^ Yeo Ghim Lay (3 September 2008). "Platform doors for elevated MRT stations". The Straits Times. p. 26.
  19. ^ a b "LTA completes installing elevated MRT station screen doors early". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  20. ^ "SMRT Rail Improvements – Updates – SMRT Blog". Retrieved 19 September 2017.
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  22. ^ LTA Website. "North–South Line Signal Upgrade". Land Transport Authority.
  23. ^ "Full-day Sunday Trials of New Signalling System on NSL".
  24. ^ "7 Questions about SMRT Trains' New Signalling System – SMRT Blog". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
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  33. ^ LTA. "Power trip on MRT network due to power fault on NSEWL". Archived from the original on 27 April 2016.
  34. ^ "Commuters feeling frustrated after recent train delays".
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  37. ^ "NSL disruption: No train services between Ang Mo Kio, Newton 'till further notice', says SMRT". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  38. ^ "NSL disruption: Malfunctioning water pumping system resulted in flooded MRT tunnel, says LTA". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  39. ^ a b "Land Transport Master Plan 2040: Bringing Singapore Together | Press Room | Land Transport Authority". Land Transport Authority. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  40. ^ a b "At a glance: Key updates to MRT, bus network and more for 2040 master plan". TODAYonline. 25 May 2019.
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  46. ^
  47. ^ "Thales awarded signalling contracts for Singapore North–South, East–West lines and Tuas West Extension" (Press release). Thales Group. 6 February 2012. Archived from the original on 30 June 2015.

External linksEdit